President Trump abruptly yanks sanctions on North Korea because he 'likes' dictator Kim Jong Un


WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump appeared to overrule his own Treasury Department on Friday and withdrew new sanctions aimed at North Korea because, the White House said, the president "likes" the reclusive country's leader, Kim Jong Un.

Treasury officials announced Thursday they were sanctioning two shipping companies based in China that have helped North Korea evade international sanctions. The U.S. has been increasingly pressuring Chinese firms doing businesses with Kim's regime.

Less than 24 hours after those sanctions were announced, Trump abruptly announced on Twitter that he had ordered the withdrawal of "additional sanctions."

"It was announced today by the U.S. Treasury that additional large scale Sanctions would be added to those already existing Sanctions on North Korea," Trump posted on Twitter. "I have today ordered the withdrawal of those additional Sanctions!"

It was not immediately clear which sanctions Trump was referring to and White House officials did not respond to questions seeking clarity.

"President Trump likes Chairman Kim and he doesn't think these sanctions will be necessary," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.

The stepped up Treasury sanctions followed a high-profile summit between Trump and Kim last month in Vietnam in which the two leaders failed to reach an agreement toward denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula. Trump left the summit early and Kim has since threatened to restart missile and nuclear tests.

The move comes as the Trump administration is also negotiating a new trade deal with Beijing to lower tariffs that both countries have imposed on each other's products.

The two Chinese-based companies targeted by the Treasury Department are Dalian Haibo International Freight Co. Ltd. and Liaoning Danxing International Forwarding Co. Ltd.

Treasury officials said both companies were involved in selling or transporting prohibited goods for North Korea and the sanctions highlighted "the deceptive methods that the North Korean regime uses to circumvent international and U.S. sanctions."

Trump has said he can size up world leaders within a few seconds and quickly decide whether he will be able to negotiate with them. Heading into the Hanoi summit, Trump said he and the North Korean dictator "fell in love" because of Kim's "beautiful letters." Trump's approach to foreign policy has often been personal and transactional.

When the summit fell apart, Trump and other U.S. officials repeatedly said the relationship with Kim remains strong.

Still, the decision to abandon the sanctions so quickly after they had been proposed drew surprise from experts.

Harry Kazianis, director of Korean Studies at the Center for the National Interest, has been generally supportive of Trump's engagement with Kim. But he expressed disbelief on Friday with Trump's decision to rescind the Treasury sanctions.

"What are we doing on #North Korea?" he tweeted on Friday. "Help."

Kazianis said in an email that Trump's move may be an appeal to Kim not to abandon the denuclearization negotiations.

"No matter what happens now, you can bet the North Koreans will only want to deal with Trump from now on considering this action," he said, a reference to the harder line that Trump's advisers have taken in the negotiations.

More: Donald Trump says his 'friend' Kim Jong Un can learn from Vietnam

More: Vietnam summit: For Donald Trump, relations with foreign leaders tend to get personal

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: President Trump abruptly yanks sanctions on North Korea because he 'likes' dictator Kim Jong Un


More Related News

US policeman suggests Democratic lawmaker should be shot
US policeman suggests Democratic lawmaker should be shot

A Louisiana policeman was being investigated Monday for suggesting a liberal congresswoman should be shot, as President Donald Trump's tweets attacking Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other lawmakers sparked a national uproar. The officer's Facebook post followed criticism that the president's incendiary rhetoric, which continued Monday with a new tweet about the four "very racist" and "not very smart" Democratic congresswomen, was bordering on incitement to violence. "This vile idiot needs a round.......and I don't mean the kind she used to serve," Charlie Rispoli, of the Gretna police department, wrote of former bartender Ocasio-Cortez, according to local media.

Iran announces arrests, death sentences as CIA spy ring busted
Iran announces arrests, death sentences as CIA spy ring busted

Iran arrested 17 suspects and sentenced some to death after dismantling a CIA spy ring, an official said Monday, as tensions soar between the Islamic republic and arch-enemy the United States. Security agencies "successfully dismantled a (CIA) spy network," the head of counter-intelligence at the Iranian intelligence ministry, whose identity was not revealed, told reporters in Tehran. Tehran has been at loggerheads with Washington and its allies since May 2018, when President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from a landmark 2015 deal putting curbs on Iran's nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief.

'Our paychecks bounced': US workers in limbo as coalmines suddenly close

Blackjewel files for chapter 11 in a move critics say is increasingly used to avoid paying workers what they are owed A mother and daughter walk past a line of miners' cars down Highway 421 in Harlan, Kentucky. Many questions about Blackjewel's operations have not been answered. Photograph: Alton Strupp

Millions of Barrels of Iranian Oil Are Piled Up in China
Millions of Barrels of Iranian Oil Are Piled Up in China's Ports

(Bloomberg) -- Tankers are offloading millions of barrels of Iranian oil into storage tanks at Chinese ports, creating a hoard of crude sitting on the doorstep of the world's biggest buyer.Two and a half months after the White House banned the purchase of Iran's oil, the nation's crude is continuing

Voice Of America Ignores Reasons For Trump
Voice Of America Ignores Reasons For Trump's Criticism Of Rep. Ilhan Omar

Ilhan Omar, but failed to include most of the reasons for the criticism.VOA wrote "Trump has found his latest target for acerbic ridicule - a hijab-wearing Muslim newcomer to Congress named Ilhan Omar."The news agency mentioned briefly only two instances of Omar's anti-Semitic remarks, referring to one as playing "off tropes questioning the influence of Jewish money in American politics."Trump began tweeting Sunday about how the "'Progressive' Democrat Congresswomen…should go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it's done."The tweets were likely aimed at Democratic Reps. Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Latin America

Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.